Tires

Ford leaving a lasting impression for beachgoers with new safety-centric tires

A new accept of the Ford- Royal National Lifeboat Institution partnership puts safety messages in the sand.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Spending the day at the beach isn't all just fun and games. Well, it mostly is. However, water safety is a key component. A new initiative by Ford and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution aims to educate beachgoers in the U.K. about beach safety.

How? By customizing tires to leave water safety messages in the sand. The messages read "float to live", "no inflatables", and "emergency? call 999".o

Ford Europe UK beach tires Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

New research from Ford reveals that 40 percent of people who would take an inflatable into the sea in the U.K. had previously run into difficulty. Thirty-eight percent said that they would consider swimming alone. The April 2020 Basis/RNLI Respect the Water survey revealed that only 56 percent of the UK public know to call 999 and ask for the coastguard if they see somebody fall into open water.

"Spending the day at the beach or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active but it's easier than you think to get into trouble," said Guy Addington, Regional Water Safety Lead at the RNLI. "With record temperatures, we've seen high numbers of people at UK beaches this summer so it's imperative that we continue to raise awareness of important water safety messages. We're delighted that Ford is helping us continue our mission to spread these messages that can help save lives.

It is vital that anyone visiting the coast understands that the beach can be a dangerous environment and you must take responsibility for you and your family this summer. No one ever goes to the coast to be rescued yet RNLI lifeguards rescue 1000's each year."

Ford Europe UK beach tires Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In 2019, RNLI lifeguards aided more than 29,000 people on U.K. beaches in more than 17,000 incidents, saving a total of 154 lives. They also helped to reunite nearly 1,800 lost children and teenagers with their families and aided 346 people in incidents involving inflatables.

The customer tires are made form a mold of each water safety message. The mold creates a rubber tire sleeve that is wrapped around the Ford Ranger tire tread and fixed into place permanently. The custom tires were tested by Ford at Minnis Bay in Kent, England.

Ford is the official vehicle supplier to the RNLI, and the Ford Ranger is the RNLI's pick-up of choice for lifeguard beach patrols. Since 2018, Ford has provided the RNLI with over 350 vehicles, including the Fiesta, EcoSport, Focus, Kuga, Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Customs.

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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